Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pics of Model / Project continued...

The Food Court. :) The Food Court was fun to model in Revit, as it came about pretty late in the project. It originally wasn't in this location, and it looked nothing like this. As you can see, the FC originated from one of the typical Canopy Concourses. I think it was a great example of what Revit can do. Typically, when drafting in AutoCAD, i would have just done a "Save as" and ripped in to it. With a phased model, i was slowly turning the model back in time, before making the alterations

Another fun aspect (for me, in a masochistic way) was the floor tiling in this area. While arranging the floor tiles and the pattern around the GFRC's, we made good use of Revit and HatchKit. We assembled the tile patterns in Hatchkit, and modeled the tiles in as floors, to see how the patterns would mesh across the length of the Food Court. The real photograph doesn't show it, because they had the tiles covered up, but they followed the modeled tile pan almost to the 'T', only deviating by splitting a few tiles to compensate for an EJ, and in one other area where 2 rows of 4" tiles had to be made in to a single row, plus two rows of half tiles, to get the extra joint space.

While on site, i was checking out the FC, and someone saw me with the tile drawing, and they complemented us on it, saying it made laying out the tiles very easy for them. HatchKit was a life saver for this, with Revit. I wasn't patient enough to figure out the txt file for making the tile.pat's. HatchKit was great, and paid for itself in less than an hour of use, imho. If its drafting tools within the program get updated in the new release to be a LITTLE more friendly, i think it will be a huge asset. Currently its lacking a few things like Circular lines, and the snap feature is a little awkward. Still WELL worth the hassle.

*(Here is the Food Court with the seating installed...)

Here is a shot from the wings, where the actual vendors are. (My left side is to them, but there wasn't much to see there yet).

Its tough to see it all, as they didn't have power yet...

You can get the idea here... BTW, parametric Families and scheduling FOR THE WIN, when it comes to something like Seating. A chair in a table family (shared), plus a parametric Bar that automatically adds stools and counts them as the bar gets dragged longer... Such simple little tools that make seating counts so much easier. I know this can also be accomplished with an Area plan and a Calc. value (as shown at AU06), but we had the furniture selected, so why not ...

Here's a shot of the typical Corner Tower from up on the roof. Nothing exciting going on here, but this made me wonder about my other post on "Punchlisting with the Revit Model." This entire project made me think about that, especially as we get in to the concept of a revit model for the LIFE cycle of a building, and not just for construction. For that to work, i believe its important to have an accurate model when the building is completed. Its a minor issue, that the Access door got placed on the opposite side of the tower as was called for in the plans, but it gets me to wondering if there isn't a better way to document these changes in the field, other than writing them out in horribly scribbled shorthand, only to return home, retype them, and then tear through the model updating things to their as-built condition.

I know the better answer is right in front of our faces, i just haven't seen it yet. Between our export and import capabilities, and the API, there's got to be a better way.

I have a bunch more, but i haven't gotten all the model images yet. Its just more of the same though, so ill stop, hehe.
Here's the final shot from the site... Its the existing Mall next door, part of which was a part of this phase, and the piece you're looking at is the entire NEXT phase of construction, which we just wrapped up the Revit model for. That is what the Mall used to look like, with a normal roof over the concourse. (That's just the

temporary wall where they already demo'd a wing of the mall, however). Photo take from the roof of the new building next door, part of the phase included with all the pics above...
Here's the same area from the model. That line in the roof right by the Canopy End Wall, that's where the temporary wall is in the real photo. We used Phasing on this one... Worked great, until the model got too big for some of our stations to handle it. We learned a lot from it, and i cant wait for the next one.
Lots to go still! :)

Pics of the Project / Model finally...

So in my last post i was getting ready to head down to Orlando for the punch list... Lemme tell you, it was HOT. It had to be 100 degrees, and we were up on the white roofs, yow! Needless to say, i came back tan. :) I got some great shots of the mall, even though heavy rains caused some delays on site during the last few weeks...

After coming home, i took a quick shot at approximating some of the pictures i took from our Revit model. I was personally surprised, when i arrived there, at how much it looked JUST like the model. When i used to do AutoCAD documents, i used to always think the projects looked different... But maybe that's because i never saw the projects in 3d beforehand then. Flat 2D elevations are a pet peeve of mine. A necessary thing in Construction Documents, perhaps... But looking at presentation images in the flat 2D realm... gah! Dont get me started. :)

I withheld the rendered images, as it wasn't in our scope, so we didn't have proper materials and textures applied. I have a few renderings where everything is simply a couple of soft colors, so the clients could see it in something other than wireframe... But its a lot of time to get all the images rendered.

Here is the Vending Alcove the occurs at a few places throughout the project.

We modeled these a few different ways, as the project went on. A few of them looked better than the image represented from our model, but this is the actual location in the picture.

Ive discovered modeling areas like this just takes some good communication throughout the project team. IE- If the wall is changing finishes, something in the wall itself should change. Either split face and paint, or use a different wall type (with a different finish material with the appropriate surface pattern, etc.

For the most part though, it worked well. The one pictured was much better explained in the documents, with Detail Lines/Items showing the differentiation in materials, which is lacking in modeled items here. But, i wanted to approximate the camera angle as best i could, so i gave up the Detail items...
Here is a shot of a typical Concourse taken from up on the roof. The GFRC's are missing from the End Wall of this particular location, I'm guessing because they still need to get the generators out of there... In the far left you can see the light fixtures mounted to light up the canopy roof. We modeled these lights working with the Electrical Engineer to verify that they couldn't be seen when standing in the upright position (not shown). We didn't put them in every canopy in the model, so they aren't shown in the modeled image. We used the widest concourse to project a worst case scenario for visibility...

This particular Canopy also represents an Expansion Joint where the Renovated Existing Building meets part of the new addition, which were different projects. As that's the case, this also represents the joint between two of our Models. We used Revit's Phasing capabilities where possible, but in this case the scopes of work remained completely separate, and simply juxtaposed.

We modeled in the structure for the canopy as it was an architectural feature. Our structural engineers were also working in a 3D model using RISA3D, but unfortunately this was not a collaborative 3D project. We transmitted documents and coordinate through 2D export to DWG. Hopefully next time we can take advantage of some better methodology... I would have loved to have brought their model and ours in to Navisworks Jetstream...
Here is a shot of a typical corner condition at one of the Concourses. This tower assembly was both a great learning exercise, and a great opportunity to play around with new features in RAC 2008 (near the end of the project, haha). I built one of these towers immediately after first learning Revit, and until "Wall by face of mass" occurred to me, making the chamfered wall corners was a pain! DOH!
This tower condition occurs about 10 times throughout the 5 Revit models. Once we upgraded to RAC 2008, i took the opportunity to use the new Group features to assemble this tower in its own RVT file, as a group. This brings up another interesting point (for me, anyway):

The groups, and the ability to transfer large assemblies built out of System Families is great... As long as all of your System families are congruent across multiple files. As i mentioned in one of my first posts, this troubles me. If i have a wall assembly in each project, that are the same physically, but are named differently, this becomes a nightmare (in my opinion). 2 or 3 different versions of the same walls, which generate Warnings if they have the same Type Mark, plus its redundant work to update things. So now, i place the Group in to a neutral blank file, and then also copy and paste the wall types and other system families from both projects (or all projects involved) and make sure the items in the group are appropriate for the project I'm shoving it in to. It seems tedious, but well worth it from a file maintenance perspective. In the last phase of the project, after the CD's were done, we swapped from Stl/Mtl Stud to Tilt-up Concrete, and not having duplicate wall types made it much more efficient of a change.
Continued in next post, because the formatting of this entry gets tweaked everytime i paste a picture, lol...

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Revit Model and Punch List...

So im flying down to Orlando Monday, and ill be there through Thursday. I'm going down with a few other people to complete a punch list on the project I've been working on for about 18 months.

As far as it pertains to Revit, I'm hoping to grab a lot of pictures so that i can compare with the Revit model I've been a part of creating, i think it will be great to see the side by sides, even if we didn't Render our model with accurate color schemes for the real project.

Then, i got to thinking about the actual punch list, as myself and the crew going down got to talking about organizing what items we need to check. Now, I've got my Toshiba Tecra M7 Tablet laptop, with Revit on it, that ill be taking with me. Obviously we aren't all taking computer hardware with us in to the field for 3 days, but it got me thinking:

First, a disclaimer- I love technology, obviously. Ive had a lot of conversations, however, hinging around the subject matter of technology as more of a liability than an asset. RE: What happens to our overly-connected-lifestyles when/if the technology craze explodes? But i digress, its here for now, and I'm enjoying it.

Anyway, the model and our Punch list: As we move on and on with revit, I've been trying to incorporate more features that i pick up from the AUGI boards and elsewhere in to our implementations. Obviously, Filters are a great tool. In my latest Model for the Orlando project, I've been working in RAC 2008, which I'm loving so far. A few simple filters have made the documentation a breeze. I needed to space plan for a few rooms that are "by others, at a later date," and filters were great for this. No confusing the Contractors with the information (Filter on, set to not visible), but its there for dimensioning in working views where i need it (Filter on, Graphic overridden to Hidden line Style). Its amazing what you can do with a simple entry in to the comments field of every object to read "Others".

We have a similar filter for Fire Rating: Graphic Override Filter for objects with a Fire Rating, and its a nice Plan to make sure our Fire rating Envelope is everywhere it needs to be.

This got me to thinking about this weeks trip: It could obviously be done with a simple Parameter field or two, such as (yes/no type: "PUNCH LIST OK" and text type: "DESCRIPTION"). I could walk the job site, broad stroke selecting items and checking the yes/no in their properties, and typing in the descriptions for faults as we moved along. A few simple views set up with Filters to only show the objects with a "no" in the field, and a few schedules, and we have a quick way to document the Punch List in our model. (To be specific, i would probably use a filter to NOT show the objects with a YES in the field... This way you'll get any objects you missed during the visit/data entry).

I'm sure the API could make this even slicker, because lets be honest. A tablet running on battery with a 200 MB Central File opened is going to last about how long... 2 hours tops? Plus, selecting objects with a tablet pen in the heat and accessing the properties dialogue could get cumbersome. But i can imagine it! Maybe the objects to be punch list-ed get certain parameters, to be scheduled, and maybe its gets exported to some 3rd party simpleton software. If you wanted to dumb it down, I'm sure Excel could handle it... But id prefer it be something ala PDF / DWF viewer, so you could scan the model or plans while you worked. You select with the tablet pen, and click the "okay" tool button, and it marks those items as completed, and at the end of the day, through an API function it back loads that parameter data back in to the model.

It goes without saying, i am a very lousy code writer. If i wasn't, id try it. I'm sure someone out there could do this with ease though, its not very complex at all. Imagine how much easier to convey what work is still not completed. Open a 3D view, activate the filter for "PUNCH LIST 07-09-2007" and see whats on the screen. Send a few images and a schedule down to the field...

Alright, enough from me. Long posts, no images... that's no fun! :)